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Essential Use Customers

What is it?

Please read the guidelines below. If you believe you should be listed as an *essential use customer, please register your business name by submitting the form below.

*Duke Energy reserves the right to determine whether a customer qualifies as an essential use customer.

Essential Use Customer Application


Applicable in the entire assigned service area of Duke Energy in the event of an emergency that necessitates curtailment of electrical service. Duke Energy may curtail electrical service to its customers in the manner set forth herein, either at its sole discretion, or under applicable policies, guidelines, directives or procedures issued by the East Central Area Reliability Council (ECAR), National Electric Reliability Council (NERC), the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc. (Midwest ISO), or their successor organizations, or when required by a Utility Regulatory Commission (Commission).

General Rules Applicable to Energy Emergency

Emergency electrical procedures may be necessary in the event of electric supply shortages, transmission constraints, or other emergency conditions in the assigned service area of Duke Energy and/or outside the assigned service area of Duke Energy.

An emergency means an anticipated or existing shortage in the supply of or constraint in the transmission or distribution of electrical energy, which has or may adversely affect the operation or reliability of generating or transmission and distribution facilities.  In the event of an emergency, Duke Energy may take any remedial measure that it deems reasonably necessary to alleviate the emergency condition or that may be required either by the Commission or under applicable policies, guidelines, directives or procedures issued by ECAR (including the then current revision of ECAR Document No. 3, Emergency Operations), NERC, the Midwest ISO, or their successor organizations, or Duke Energy's emergency plan.  During an emergency, Duke Energy will follow the procedures set forth herein with regard to essential use customers as defined in below.

Essential Use Customers

Essential use customers are defined as follows:

  1. hospitals and emergency care facilities, which shall be limited to those
    facilities providing medical care and performing in-patient surgery on patients;
  2. federal, state and county prisons and detention institutions;
  3. police and fire stations; national guard facilities, military bases, and federal facilities essential to the national defense;
  4. radio and television stations used to transmit emergency messages and public information broadcasts relating to emergencies;
  5. water pumping plants essential to the supply of potable water to a community;
  6. sewage plants essential to the collection, treatment or disposal of a community’s sewage;
  7. emergency management and response facilities and the county-wide “911” system;
  8. nursing homes;
  9. central office telephone switching stations; and
  10. blood banks.

Duke Energy does not guarantee a continuous and uninterrupted flow of power to any customer. Power interruptions may occur due to many causes other than the emergency procedures set forth herein. Further, essential use customers should expect that their power may be interrupted in the event of an emergency due to the nature of the emergency and the normal configuration of electric supply systems.

Essential use customers are responsible for anticipating the possibility that power may be interrupted and for developing contingency plans if continuity of service is essential. Such contingency plans may include installing on-site backup generation, uninterruptible power supplies, other alternative power sources or evacuation to another location.

Duke Energy will make reasonable efforts to maintain service to essential use customers during an emergency and will attempt to minimize the time period of any interruption, when practical. Duke Energy may, however, curtail power to essential use customers during an emergency. We will attempt to identify essential use customers and maintain a list of these customers with annual verification and updates.

Non-residential essential use customers are also encouraged to develop contingency plans for use during an emergency, such as the need for backup generation, uninterruptible power supplies, other alternative power sources or evacuation to another location.

Essential use customers should prepare to implement their contingency plans any time that Duke Energy makes a public appeal for voluntary conservation, due to the possibility that Duke Energy may experience an emergency during such time that Duke Energy makes public appeals for voluntary conservation.

If Duke Energy has adequate advance notice that an emergency may occur, then Duke Energy will attempt to call critical customers to alert them of the possibility of a power interruption. Due to the frequently sudden onset of an emergency and the time necessary to contact all critical customers, Duke Energy may not be able to contact critical customers in advance of an emergency.

If you believe you should be listed as an use essential customer, please submit the Essential Use Customer Application for consideration.

Have Questions? Contact Us.